Guantanamera on soprano - advice on Key

Vvc

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Looking for advice.

I am a beginner on soprano since last August. Prior to the soprano I was a beginner on alto but decided to change to a lighter weight curved soprano.

My higher notes are a bit painful both to the ear and the lip! I am practicing long tones etc and I know I will eventually get improvements in my high notes.

In the meantime, I would like to play Guantanamera from the Schott Saxophone Lounge playalong tenor book. The first chorus and verse are in C major and the second chorus is in D major. The first bars of the 2 choruses are a little high. Does it make sense if I change the C major to G major and the D major to A major? If it doesn't, can someone please point me in the right direction? I want to play it along to the backing track.

Many thanks
Vicky
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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When you are playing with a backing track, then you can't change the key that you play in unless you can change the key of the backing track as well. So this is not an option unless your Schott playalong book has a backing in G/A. If it has a backing track for alto using the same printed notes as for tenor then that might be what you need.
 
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Vvc

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Play the high notes down an octave perhaps?:confused2:

Greg S.
Hi, I did play all the notes, not just the high notes, down an octave but then some of the lower notes seemed a little too low.

Maybe, I am not being flexible enough? I will try just some of the high ones and leave the lower ones as they are.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Vvc

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When you are playing with a backing track, then you can't change the key that you play in unless you can change the key of the backing track as well. So this is not an option unless your Schott playalong book has a backing in G/A. If it has a backing track for alto using the same printed notes as for tenor then that might be what you need.
Really interesting learning point about the backing track key. I am new to all this, so this info is very helpful to me.
Many thanks.
 

Jazzaferri

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I suggest you play them as written and love them for what they are. You have to get used to playing high if you want to play sop.

Long tones …. 15 minutes a day will help with the sound of the high notes. Experiment with the tone making sure you have good intonation and find one that is yours.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Hi, I did play all the notes, not just the high notes, down an octave but then some of the lower notes seemed a little too low.

Maybe, I am not being flexible enough? I will try just some of the high ones and leave the lower ones as they are.

Thanks for the advice.
As long as the lowest note does not drop below Bb / B-flat you should be right - I have one soprano ( Yamaha 475) that goes up to high F# and another soprano (Walstein bronze body) that goes a semi tone above to high G - I quite like the low notes of the soprano - keep working on the high notes - position your tongue higher in your mouth to execute those high notes cleanly...

Greg S.
 

jbtsax

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If the tune is in Bb concert which is your key of C on the soprano the highest note of the melody is A above the staff and the lowest is a 2nd line G. If it is the A that is giving you trouble, I would recommend playing a G scale up to the 9th which is A and then back down. Increase the speed of the air as you go up the scale and raise your eyebrows (it really helps). As the A becomes more comfortable to play and begins to have a better sound, then go up the scale and hold that note as a long tone.

Musically speaking this is a good key for this tune that puts the saxophone in a good tessitura and has a friendly key signature. I could make you an accompaniment and lead sheet in BiaB with F as the highest note and E as the lowest, but it would be better to stretch yourself a bit and make those A's sound good.
 
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Vvc

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Thanks to you all for the advice and suggestions. I am going to follow your guidance, stick with it and go for those high notes.

Jbtsax, I really like the idea of going up the G scale to get to the A.
 
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